Celebrating With Curls

When I originally scheduled this giveaway, it wasn’t with forethought of this historic occasion. But in light of the news that Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States, it seems like an even more appropriate celebration! This giveaway is especially for my transitioning bellas!

I recently did a post about a popular hair product recently, and the comments revealed a common natural hair complaint — not only is everything not for everybody, but quite a few of you feel left out of the product craze in the first place.

Bellas with 4b hair have very particular hair needs that are oft overlooked.

But before I delve deeper into this topic, I’ll reveal my ignorance first — I had no idea about hair texture or types or the various numbers and letters designated to them, back when I decided to quit the creamy crack cold turkey.

Discovering and diagnosing my own hair type — which I would say is 4A with a touch of 3C at the very back and 4B on the top — has been an important chapter in my natural hair journey. Click here to figure out your hair type, in case you’re unfamiliar with such terms. And please note — alphanumeric hair types aren’t universally embraced or appreciated, most certainly not with my sisters at Nappturality.com.

My point is, forget hair types if you’re just starting out with natural hair. From my experience, I learned that you never truly know what kind of hair type you’re going to have until you take the plunge and transition. And no matter what it is, if you’re committed to being a truly natural afrobella, you’re going to learn to love it. Part of learning to love your natural texture, is learning to work with it. And part of that, comes from finding the perfect products to give your hair the moisture, nutrients, and love it needs.

If you have thick, kinky, wooly, z-shaped curl, needs-alotta-moisturizer hair, there are a number of products that are recommended for you. The Sistas at Sistas Place have some great suggestions, and I’ll expand on those in a special post for you all soon. Promise. For now, I’ve got another product recommendation for my transitioning bellas, from one of my favorite natural hair product companies out there.

Curls styling products — Milkshake, Souffle, and Whipped Cream — are deeply moisturizing styling products.

Curls Milkshake (described as Ashanti’s favorite), is a nurturing moisturizer, formulated with pure coconut milk and certified organic aloe leaf juice.
The Souffle is my new favorite — it makes my curls pop, and leaves my hair soft and totally not sticky or greasy to the touch. And Whipped Cream is made especially for 3C to 4B textures, and promises to give definition, frizz protection, moisture, and sheen.

Here’s a demonstration video especially for bellas with kinkier hair types, who want to see how these products might work for your hair type.

In that video, the Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream and Curls Milkshake are used to detangle, moisturize and style her hair. And wouldn’t you know — those items are also included in the Transitioning Diva Kit!

This package of products is very popular — it includes the aforementioned Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream, Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea conditioner (which is great for deep conditioning steam cap treatments), Quenched Curls Moisturizer, and Curls Milkshake — all for $55.

And five lucky transitioning Afrobella readers will get to try out this curlicious goodness themselves!

All you have to do is answer the question: Why are you a transitioning diva?

I will close this contest on Monday, November 10. (FYI, I’m scheduled to be on NPR’s News and Notes that day as well!). Then I’ll choose 5 winners from the best answers.

So tell me, bellas — Why are you a transitioning diva?

** totally random PS — if anyone knows who the model is in the photo at the top, please let me know. I did a search for 4B hair a while ago and she came up, but I can’t find the original image source anymore!

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Comments

  1. Speaksister says:

    I am so glad that you addressed this. There are so many products that are great for those sistas with coils or loose curls. Many of us with type “4b” tresses are left to concoct our own products (i.e. the good ol’ vegetable glycerin & Water and\or the SheaAloe Mix). Have you (or any one else for that matter)tried Taliah Waajid products? I’ve heard they are very good products for natural hair.

  2. I am transitioning because I want to be free. Every other race in the world has embraced the freedom that we have denied ourselves for ages. A large number of women from my country do not know what their real hair looks like. They have never cared to know. As far as they are concerned it was bad before they were born, and the only way to tolerate it was shackled, straightened, and subdued. I am transitioning because I want to give myself a chance to feel what it’s like to be natural from the tips of my toes to the longest hair on my head. I’m transitioning because when women of the world stand together, I want to stand too with my proud crowning glory, not a substitute to make up for a deficiency I decided I had without ever trying to see if it was true.

    I believe my hair can be beautiful, and strong, and make me even more of a woman. But most of all, I believe that my own hair, my own God-given hair, can set me free.

  3. Afrobella,

    I am transitioning cos everytime i have new growth i love how it feels (its a bit tough and coarse) but the way the waves and curls look make me smile all the time. I dreaded going to get a relaxer, from the smell to the burning, frying, stinging sensation, i just didn’t want to do it anymore, i can’t do it anymore.

    I haven;t fully understood why our hair has to look a certain way, when God designed it to be beautiful in its own way…

    My sister is transitioning now as well and uses me as a role model and i am so proud to give her tips and pointers on what she should do to manage the 2 textures.

    I secretly chooped off the perm on a lil portion of the back of my hair :-)and i love how the all natural hair looks and feels, i just love it!!

  4. I am transitioning because I want to be more of myself. Embracing who I am from the inside AND the outside is what I choose to do. I find that when I do that Iam more attractive to me. I like who I am, and somehow that translates into more authentic relationships with others. Who knew??
    I love my curly kinky wild hair, and now after so many years of fighting with my hair, it loves me!!!

  5. Sabrina97 says:

    Wah! Can I be transitioning even though I cut off all of my relaxed hair two years ago? I love Curls! I’m 4a-b and the Whipped Creme is awesome for wash and go and for twists and twist out and I use the Quenched Curls everyday.

  6. I recently went through a pregnancy. During that time I stopped getting touchups and let my hair grow out naturally. I fell in love with the texture of my hair and decided then I would transition. I’m still having problems finding products that will work with my hair. I would love to try these products out so that I can go and get the big chop!

  7. I am transitioning because after growing out my hair for 6 months, relaxing again after a fit of insecurity, and then beginning a 3 month re-grow out, I realize that I have never looked as beautiful as I was as a small child before my mother introduced me to box kits of no-lye relaxer. I realized I want to shake off the funny feelings I developed as a child when my grandmother (who grew up in the south in an era where racism was very much alive) told me that if I ‘kept your(my) hair pressed and your(my) mouth shut, you could pass for white.”

    I want to know what I truly look like under the artificial straightness of all this chemically induced damage. I want to know what my hair feels like when its wet…besides damaged and thinner than its supposed to be. I want my natural curls back. I want To save a ton of money on chemical services I don’t really need to look good. I’m ready to go for the long haul with my hair. Its mine, I should love it exactly the way it grows out of my head.

  8. I remember this video when I started a year ago. Curious and all but wasn’t sure about it, more looser naturals swear by this. It can be really hard finding products, the reason I use my own self mades. since I cannot join in, I hope the winners are able to get great results. I’d love to try it someday but until i’m no longer a college student.. I would love to read reviews from the winners id you should ask them to write a review of their experience either post it here or something.

  9. Hey Trecia, if this giveaway goes well, maybe we can hope for another Curls giveaway for bellas with kinkier textures, or maybe another product line. Either way, I am thinking about the bellas with tighter textures and I’m working on something special for you all for the holidays!

  10. Ah, yes, Sugabelly, so true!!!! I’ve already transitioned myself ages ago, and the largest diameter of curls on my head are not much larger than pen-springs (a couple millimeters TOPS). It’s growing longer now and I LOVE it. I realize no product will increase the size of the curls (short of a tex), and I don’t really want to anymore. Looking at my hair is like viewing a strong vast forest — full of history, full of density and full of beauty.

  11. Markeysha Evans says:

    I am a transitioning Diva because, after years of watching my grandmother go for hair plugs or micro fusion, and my mother relaxing /coloring her hair even while watching it fall out. I began to think I don’t want to be like that, I want a full head of healthy strong hair in my later years, I want to turn gray gracefully. I have been in transition for a year+ now and I love what Im seeing. i often ask my self , ” why did my mother want to slap creamy crack in my head all those years?” my hair is beautiful, I love the curls that form around my edges. I ‘m in search however of a product that will help me better maintain my styles, I’m new to this and I see so many women with great styles and wonder, and often ask them what’s you secret? Now I need to find my secret!

    Choose Me Bella!

  12. I am transitioning because I want to embrace my true beauty, not what someone else has told me it should be. The fact that for the longest time I didn’t know what my hair looked like in it’s natural state saddens me. I would be lying if I said the process of transitioning was easy, there are definitely some difficult days, but every time I feel my coils or I see another inch of new growth, I am inspired to continue this journey.

  13. Taking a honest look at your physicality is not an easy choice. But its time for me to take a different approach at my mirror; not one of crticism or the need to adapt. But intent to embrace and celebrate what I see. I was always taught to start from the top and move to the bottom so thats why I am starting with my hair. Trasitioning my hair to its natural state is more than a stylistic choice, its a step towards fully developing the creature God purposed me to be!

  14. LBellatrix says:

    I’m not transitioning, nor did I transition (BC’ed 7 weeks after my last touch-up) but I wanted to say something about natural hair and hair types.

    The Andre Walker hair typing method (1-4) is WAYYY too limited for people with curly and/or kinky hair. We know that those people often have SEVERAL DISTINCT hair types on their heads at the same time.

    My dry unmanipulated hair looks like a cotton puff with random coils scattered throughout (more coils concentrated in the front left of my head) and small patches of wavy curls above each ear and in the center of my nape. When my hair is 4″ or less I can get health AND curl/coil definition with just product but after 4″, it’s not happening. It would be a waste of time for me to focus on the 35% of my hair that’s not cotton-puff solely because of hangups OTHERS may have about the 65% that’s cotton-puff. Whatever the MAJORITY of your hair looks like, focus on products and techniques that keep that PARTICULAR hair type HEALTHY first and foremost.

    I’m glad that you, Bella, are doing your part to dispute the notion that only certain types of hair can be worn natural.

  15. I am transitioning bella who has been natural for the last 5 years before going natural it felt as if i had been getting perms since birth because my mom was in charge of my hair and paid for me to go to salons, after becoming an adult and making the desicion to go natural my mom quit helping me stating that if i wanted to walk around with a brillo pad on my head that she would no longer help me pay for salon visits so now i find myself in a difficult situation i can’t afford to go to a hairsalon and i find it difficult to do more than an afro puff and the end result has been lots of breakage and hats i would love to wear my hair in an acttual style so this year during the holidays i can show my mom and family that natural can be beatiful

    please pick me bella

  16. I am transitioning because I just got sick of how relaxers and other chemicals made my hair look – sickly thin. I got tired of hair breakage. After browsing through your website and educating my self fully on how to take care of my natural beautiful God given hair, I decided to go for the big chop. I have absolutely no regrets and there is no turning back. I just can’t wait for my beautiful natural hair to grow out some more so I can experiment with various hairstyles. IT FEELS GOOD TO BE FREE!

  17. I am a transitioning bella because after years of flip flopping and losing a good portion of my hair I had to stop using chemicals in my hair. As a fitness professional, working out 5-6 days a week, my hair was very weak from the constant rinsing out of sweat or lack there of. After losing the majority of my hair in the center of my head..I just cut it all off and wore a close cropped ceasar haircut.. and let my hair grow back on its own.. that was may of this year and now I have about 4 inches of virgin hair which I love.. as it gets longer its becoming harder to manage/maintain without the right products.. no more brush and go.. I have to use more product to maintain a style/reduce frizz on my fro.. due to my profession.. I’ve found a few that work.. but with winter coming, I need to do less rinsing/washing in these colder months.

  18. Great products! (from a sista with needs a lotta moisturizer hair) :)

  19. CurlyBrain says:

    I am a transitioning diva because I had brain surgery in August08 and lost a lot of hair. The doctors shaved my hair in different sections (operation site) and since my recovery I’ve been all naturale.

  20. I am a transitioning Diva because I was tired of conforming. I have always been proud of my black features, my dark skin, full lips, etc but I’ve always been told I had bad hair. It took a while to overcome, but I now embrace my tight, coily, spongy hair. If Wooly hair was good enough for Jesus its good enough for me.

    I am just about 100% transitioned and it has been a wonderful journey so far. The best thing about it is, being a part of a sisterhood of natural women everywhere. I never knew about this subculture of black women on Nappturality, Fotki, You Tube etc. Its really beautiful. We help each other, support each other, compliment each other. I love it.

  21. I am a Transitioning Diva for several reasons, I was tired of going to the doobie shop every week spending money I did not have for a stlye to last for no more 6 days, then turn around and do it again. My 4a/4b hair is so thick that it would sometimes take a bottle and a half of the crack cream, two broken combs and an extra 15 minutes of burning to get it straight.

    I was frustrated with not being able to enjoy a great workout at the gym for fear that my hair would look a mess after I left the gym. I was P.Offed when ever I went on vacation to the islands or by the beach I would need to braid up my hair(in synthetic hair) to avoid any damage. I am a Transitioning Diva because I am an ever evolving woman who is happy in my skin and always seeking newness.

    I am a Transitioning Diva because I needed to know who I was and what I needed for my body to make it naturally happy. My decision to go NAPPTURAL was based on a lot of research and soul searching….I feel so free, beautiful and happy right now, I have endless potential with these Napps… I would not change it for the world! I am raising my two sons to love women for who they are not for what they look like.

    Now don’t get me wrong I love my hair to look fierce, and I have yet to have a super bad hair day since I transitioned…My only complaint is that I can not find a great moisturizer that is non-greasy, and lasts long. The Curls products have been reviewed by many nappturals however I have not tried it. And I would love to!

  22. I’m happy you wrote that new naturals should not concentrate on hair type so much. That system is very confusing. When I first started transitoning back in ’93, there wasn’t all the info around that there is today. In a lot of ways that was bad, but in some ways good. I didn’t know or care what hair typing was, I just wanted to get rid of the relaxer, lol.

    Now it’s like people are almost obsessed with knowing their hair type, and for what? Today there is alot of information overload and it’s hard to discern what’s important. I almost wish hair typing didn’t exist.

  23. good luck to all the women who are going natural! as a woman i think it’s wonderful that we are all fighting to be seen as people with equal rights, all over the world, no matter what we look like. there is a lot of pressure to have straight, white anglo-saxon style hair for all kinds of women who don’t naturally have that kind of hair. not to mention that it objectifies all women involved…as if we are nothing more than our hair, or what we look like. i’m white and can straighten my hair with an iron if i wanted straight hair, but as a women i’m still offended that we’re judged by our hair, instead of our merits as people. keep fighting the fight! if i could go more natural i totally would in solidarity with the women who have it even harder than i do.

  24. I am transitioning because I want to be liberated. I want to finally embrace my rich heritage. I am transitioning because I no longer want to seem ashamed of where I come from. I am transitioning because I never had a say so in whether I wanted to become chemically relaxed because my mother felt that it would be more manageable. I am transitioning for my daughter because I want her to be able to embrace her natural beauty at a young age and not follow the beat of anyone else drum, but her own. I am transitioning because I have always admired natural women of color for their poise and class. They seem to always stand out from the crowd as if they are saying “Look at me. I AM BEAUTIFUL.” I am transitioning because I am just tired of my scalp suffering and the holes in my pockets becoming deeper due to the rising costs of relaxers. I am transitioning because I know that I am beautiful just as I am. Love me or hate me. I am who I am. I am transitioning because no one sets my standard of beauty. I am beautiful with straight, kinky, coily, nappy,or coarse hair. I am transitioning as a symbol of hope and progress. On November 4th the history of the U.S.A transitioned and I CHOOSE to transition as a symbol “Change” that Obama will give to our great nation. It’s a new day and a new me! Get on board my sistas! Get on board!

  25. Speaksister:

    I was raised on Taliah Waajid products lol. For the most part, her products are great for kinky hair. As far as the moisture we need the shampoo, conditioner, and bodifier are a triple threat. And the lock and twist gel, in my opinion is the best twist gel I’ve encountered. It defines curl and never hardens the hair. Frankly, for a fragrance junkie like myself, you won’t be doing the herbal essences “oooh ahhh” especially with products like the strengthener (i.e. grease lol) or the hair oil, which can be very heavy but great for a hot oil treatment. But the bodifier is the everyday dose of moisture us “4b??” hair types need. I love my Carol’s Daughter smell good stuff but when my hair milk gave my curls a heck no recently I called my mom and asked her to buy me some conditioner and bodifier lol

    P.S. If you are a fragrance junkie too: Carol’s Daughter Hair Smoothies are HEAVEN. And they work like magic. Extraaaaaaaaa soft hair.

    Afrobella:

    I don’t know if I’m technically eligible because I just finished transitioning back to my natural hair for the 2nd or 3rd time in two years?? But I am a certified product junkie… and a poor college student. Giveaway? Count me IN. Just being honest lol

    Lots of Love!

  26. I am transitioning because I remember looking in the mirror as a child and believing that I was beautiful just as I was, no chemicals, no makeup and nothing that God did not give me.

    I held on that confidence in my natural God given beauty until my teen years when peer pressure got the best of me. I honestly recall that shiver that went down my spine when I got my first relaxer and my hair looked dead straight.

    I went thru a period when I let myself go, due to life circumstances. When I say let go, I meant stopped “fixing myself up”. I wore jeans and a tshirt, lotion, deodarant and a bun for about 6mnths straight. Friends were concerned but they showed it by saying “why dnt you get your hair done?”

    Well when I came out of the fog I had bouncy, thick, curly springy hair and stringy relaxed ends. I looked in the mirror hair wild and free and felt that I was going to be beautiful again, inside and out-regardless of how some people tried to make me feel. I went to the salon to get the ends cut off and that mass of springy, curly, thick hair makes me SMILE. It feels like a secret that only I know.

    That is why I am transitioning back to the Beauty, God gave me.

  27. Nothing fancy here ladies…I’m transitioning because I am tired of giving Ben (my hair dresser) all of my money…lol Tired of dreading hair care in a cold climate. A Minnesota winter will break even the healthiest hair right in two. Tired of going swimming and having the chlorine eat my crown and glory up…emerging from the water with what feels like a bail of hay on my head. Tired of giving my hair a rest with braids for a few months each year, only to slather the creamy crack on an ruin my beautiful new growth. I’m just sick and tired or fighting with my hair every 6 weeks, so I’m putting down the boxing gloves and embracing whatever kinky, curly tresses that emerge from my scalp!

  28. IMAGE SOURCE:

    The source of the lady in the picture is Soft Sheen and Carson. I only know, because I use their products:

    http://www.softsheen-carson.com/_us/_en/products/permanentwave/wavenouveaucoiffure.aspx

  29. I’ve been natural for 7 years, so I guess I don’t count as a transitioner. I’ve seen this vid before and although I find it intriguing, I’m not sure if I would try it. Time and time again I have attempted the fabled shake and go and it has always been a disaster. It leaves my ends to tangled and raggedy that I am constantly trimming. Now I just let my hair dry in large braids or twists.

    By the way, the model looks a lot like Tomiko Fraiser, but I am not certain. Janine Green is a good example of a 4B girl. She is featured on Dickey’s Hair rules site.

  30. Cherrishe says:

    Transitioning for me has been more than a hair care decision. Transitioning for me comes at a time where i’m learning to love myself. I am an 18 year old college junior, soon to be 19. Last year I remember a time where I did everything I could possibly fathom to look like what I thought was a beauty ideal. I had a perm and my hair was seriously breaking off in the back and on a daily basis I would wear what I call half wigs. I bought a pair of honey colored contacts and I rocked them so hard I didn’t even take them out when I went to sleep, and please lets not even get me started on my daily makeup regime. It got so bad that I hated the way I looked when I was weaveless, barefaced, and without light brown eyes. Without all these additives I didn’t even feel like I looked like myself, I felt ugly. My dark brown eyes looked foreign to me. One day I got out the shower after washing my hair and I couln’t find my contact case, and as I looked in the mirror at myself without all that extraness going on I started to cry. Not like a little boo hoo yall, i’m talkin serious river flowin, cryin so hard till your throat hurts type of tears, and I couldn’t stop. Its hard to look in the mirror at yourself and realize that you haven’t come to love and appreciate whats staring back at you in its natural form. So even though it was really hard I decided to try to learn to love me. I got rid of those contacts, invested in some braids, and embarked on a journey with myself. Not only have the ladies on the forums and beautiful afobellas world wide helped me to learn to appreciate and love my hair, theyve given me something much more valuable; I can look in the mirror just as I am and find beauty in that. I as a person am growing with my hair. Transitioning for me has been so much more than a decision to stop the creamy crack, its been journey of self reflection and awareness, self acceptance, and most importantly self love.

  31. I saw the cartoon wife of a certain spinach-gulping “sailor man” and realized that I looked just like her. I’m almost (gulp) 20+10 and have been wearing Olive Oyl’s hairstyle since high school. I’ve been perming my hair since 7, to bland results . Six months ago I decided it was time for a change and started growing out my relaxer.

    I know I’m not like everyone else, because I can’t say that I love it. Everyday the morning ablutions take longer, the tug-of-war is more violent, the results are fuzzier. And I haven’t even done the Big Chop yet. Despite reading everything I can get my hands on I feel clueless, frustrated and ugly. (I moisturize -no, not with oil- like crazy, my skin breaks out and my hair is still looks like kindling.) Recently I went home to Jamaica and suffered a pretty devastating blow. I walked into my Grandmother’s house and she called me to her to “see me”. Blind from Diabetes, she felt my head and face and asked only one (disappointed) question. “What happened to your long hair?”

    I’m very scared, but I’m transitioning out of curiosity. I want to know what I really look like, and I really want to love it. As I wise man once said, “I yam, what I yam”.

  32. I am learning personally that beauty is what you make it, an art that needs only be deciphered by its creator. It took me attempting to transition three times to realize the same outlook should be applied to hair. I’ve always heard the comment that I have beautiful hair, and I have waves that even a relaxer can’t quite tame so I thought itd be easy to make the change with no effort, and that was a big misconception, not until I did some extensive research and google guided me to your sight *praise Him* did I learn you have to test your hair and see what works particularly for you… And conditioners just don’t cut it alone. I’d love the opportunity to show my hair the love it deserves by using products it desperately needs, instead of trying to fight the tangles that are amassing on my head!

  33. I am learning personally that beauty is what you make it, an art that needs only be deciphered by its creator. It took me attempting to transition three times to realize the same outlook should be applied to hair. I’ve always heard the comment that I have beautiful hair, and I have waves that even a relaxer can’t quite tame so I thought itd be easy to make the change with no effort, and that was a big misconception, not until I did some extensive research and google guided me to your site *praise Him* did I learn you have to test your hair and see what works particularly for you… And conditioners just don’t cut it alone. I’d love the opportunity to show my hair the love it deserves by using products it desperately needs, instead of trying to fight the tangles that are amassing on my head!

  34. Leathaley says:

    Peace Bella:
    Once I had a conversation with a girlfriend of mines. We ended up talking about our plans for children. I don’t have any now, but I do want some someday. So I shared with her that I would never perm my daughter’s hair, and how I hated the fact that my mother permed my hair so young and passed down her insecurities and lack of hair knowledge to me. (Whenever my hair was “woofing” she would tell me “just put some water and slick it back”- now every Black girl knows that water is like cryptonite to permed hair! But that’s just one example.)
    Alone I thought about the reasons I wouldn’t want to perm my daughter’s hair- they were all the reasons I hated my perm. Like most Bellas that have responded I felt like it was a conforming to a beauty standard that was not for me.
    I hated shying from the rain, or avoiding the water rides at theme parks. I hated spending loads of money and time in salons. I hated the carpet of hair I shed every morning on the bathroom floor-and on my shoulders throughout the day. I hated that for pretty much any activity I planned to do, I had to make sure it was safe for my hair, and if not plan a strategy as to what I would do until I could make it to the salon. I was definitely a slave to my hair.
    I do not want to pass on the damaging mindset to my daughter that I inherited from not only my mother, but my peers, in trying to keep up with jonses.
    Instead I want her to understand that she is beautiful in her natural state.
    I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I do not wear make-up (no matter what visitors decide to pop up or when), and I do not wear weaves or extensions of any sort (no offense to those who do) and taking these factors and my discovered hatred for perms, I felt like a hypocrite.
    Clearly there was only one thing for me to do, as I’m an instant results type of person. Got rid of the perm, completely, I’ve been transitioning now for about 8 months, and while I will admit its hard sometimes. Feeling like I can’t do anything with it- and oh if it would only hurry up and grow…I’ve never been happier with my hair. I look in the mirror and can’t help but smile, knowing that this look was made for me.
    I am transitioning hoping to be an example to others who play with the idea but don’t yet have the courage to break free from the hold of the creamy crack. ;)
    Pick me Bella!
    Peace

  35. Liberty Hultberg says:

    I was adopted as an infant, a bald, fair baby, and grew up with in a rural, all-white town. I thought nothing of “color” until my hair began to grow out and racial threats snuck their way into my life—a probable KKK member inching his car alongside me as I walked down the dusty street, a boy from school whose spit on my cheek caused me to run home and look up the word nigger to see what he meant. Even at a young age I knew it was because of my hair, that something about that hair was wrong. And so I accepted that hate and detested my hair, hot tears burning my face as I pulled at the tangles and prayed for a miracle to make it straight. In high school a miracle came when a sympathetic beautician introduced me to Straight Talk (a very damaging relaxer that is marketed for whites’ hair), and I began the chemical castration that would continue for many years. With this relaxer, along with a flat iron and bleach, I was finally the girl who had perfectly straight, perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable blonde hair. The hair of a white girl. The right girl.

    The relaxer was like a jealous lover, however, demanding my time and my money, beckoning me to sneak into salons every few months with my new growth, hoping no one would discover my secret. In college I found Alphonzo—a black beautician who refused to use Straight Talk. He transitioned me to more gentle relaxers, and told me, his fingers coating conditioner in my roots, that I was not white. A year later I made contact with my birth mother, and she confirmed what I’d begun to suspect: my father is black. I am biracial. My hair had held the truth all along. With this knowledge and Alphonzo’s coaching, I began a slow acceptance of this new identity. A part of me wanted my curls, but if I even went more than 3 months without relaxing, big, thick portions would begin to dred on their own and I’d suddenly be that little girl in front of the mirror crying in pain, comb in hand, lost with this hair I never knew how to love. And now I held a race I never knew how to love.

    Then one day Alphonzo disappeared. Like an addict, I immediately sought out another ethnic salon, but bravely asked for the mildest relaxer available. I was beginning to love my hair. All I needed was a little touch up now and then. I began telling everyone my story about being adopted, about my father being black, about my hair, the secrets bursting out of me like water from a broken dam. And I began to write about them too, and eventually enrolled in a graduate writing program. The summer before I left for graduate school, I decided to quit cold turkey. No more relaxers. No more texturizers. No more touch ups. I had no idea what I was in for, or how hard it would be to make the journey alone.

    But I’m doing it. I’ve been chemical-free for about a year now, but I’m still trying to figure out what products to use on this new hair. There are days I just want to give up and consider going back for just a little help, just a few chemicals. I am trying to get to know that part of myself that has been silenced for all those years. I am searching for my father, too, and hope that when I find him he can be proud that I am an Afrobella, that I am learning how to love the hair he gave me as it was meant to be.

  36. I decided to transition when my niece was born. When she was born, I had mid-back length relaxed hair, but it just became very important that she see women with all hair types and textures in her family. Right now, she’s too young for it to matter to her. But when she is a little older and starts to look for reflections of herself – I want her to see the beauty of her natural hair reflected back to her by her “auntie”.

  37. Liberty, that story just made me start crying. As another little fairskinned confused black girl, I can relate. I always wanted to embrace who I was, but with everyone constantly telling me to hush my mouth so people would think me something else, it gave me a complex.

    That complex stops with my hair from now on.

    Bella, this one here is more than worthy! Thank you Liberty, for sharing that!

  38. Bella.

    I hope you don’t mind. But there’s a sister on the YouTube channel who has great Type 4 hair videos and her hair looks amazing. Her name is Rustic Beauty and her videos are pretty in depth, instructional and easy to follow. I once had locks; but I did the big chop. I transitioned to a curly afro and it hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. I really think that most sisters crave the holy grail of type 3 bi-racial hair.

    But you’ve got to love what you’ve been armed with. Since I’ve watched her videos and now I’m straight on how to take care of my hair and make it look good.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RusticBeauty

  39. I am transitioning because my 11 year old daughter has naturally curly hair. In her middle school she’s the odd bella out because her hair is different than every other girls. She is becoming insecure and lonely and uncomfortable in who she is. She has stated several times that she wants hair like mine, relaxed straight. I tell her that she has beautiful hair and in time she’ll know how to care for it. But all she hears is contrary to what she sees me do every day. She sees me slaving away with the electrical appliances, avoiding the rain at all costs. Weekly,we pay lots of money to cornrow her hair but when the ‘fuzziness’ starts, she is teased by other girls. When she looks at TV, she sees no one that looks like her. Because she has no examples in her life of natural hair or experience in how to care for her hair, I am going to do this for her and with her. We can learn together on how to be the best and look as God had intended us to be, afrobellas.

  40. Good luck to all the transitioning ladies!

  41. Hello, I’m a transitioning diva because no longer can I abuse my scalp and find a justified reason for doing so. I’ve struggled with burning, sores, & thick dandruff for long enough. I can’t do it anymore!! Some say with no pain there is no gain, but I say you don’t have to suffer to be beautiful, beautiful is how we were born. After making the choice to go natural it was hard not to just go back to a perm and thats when I realized this journey would be more spiritual than anything. At that point I prayed and told God from this point on I’ll work with what you originally gave me and now everyday is a little bit easier.

  42. I have decided that there is no time like the present in order to live a more natural/authentic life. I am currently 30 years old and I can remember when I was 19 I woke up one day and decided that I was tired of the maintenance of dealing with having permed hair and made the drastic decision to chop of my shoulder length hair. Although my family tried to talk me out of it I decided that it would be in my best interest.
    For the next year I would go to my local barber shop weekly and get a shape up. It was low maintenance at it’s best! Eventually I grew my hair back and went back to “the perm!” This continued on atleast every 3-4 years or so. I’ve always loved the compliments and attention that I would recieve with the short cut but even then I relied on the help of texturizers.
    I can now say that me and my short cut are ready to go all natural! I personally would love the opportunity to sample products that would put my current, lack luster, products to rest.

  43. In search of Clarity says:

    After years of searching for the right perm for me I have finally come to the conclusion that a perm “is not” for me! My husband has been telling me for years that I was lazy because I relied on braids and perms so that I wouldn’t have to put in the work of maintaing my own hair. Now looking back, I have no choice but to agree. He was 100% correct.
    After reviewing my credit card statements I had managed to spend, within one year, over $2000 on maintaining my hair. My weakness was braids, sewn in weaves as well as regular perms.
    Now finally, after 9 years of being lost I feel as though I am finally going on a remarkable path of the road less traveled.
    I must say that I enjoy reading stories of people who started out where I am and now choose to help make my journey a little easier by providing detailed insight on the road blocks in which they have encountered. Thank you Afrobella for providing clarity on a once foggy subject!

  44. I am transitioning because I know that God makes no mistakes…Putting creams in my hair to alter the natural chemical structure of my hair, is in my opinion, implying that God went wrong somewhere…I am transitioning because I am wonderfully and perfectly made…from my dark brown skin to the tips of my kinky hair…

    I am transitioning because I believe in being the real me, the me that God intended me to be – absolutely FABULOUS!

  45. Tasia Stone says:

    I decided to transition for many reasons. But the initial urge to undergo one of the most drastic and fulfilling journeys of my life came while I was on the road, on the way to a family reunion. As I was riding in the car listening to the O’Jays, Damion Marley, and Marvin Gaye (good soul music, lol), I started to reflect on my position in this world as a recent college graduate, and from there my mind started to dig deeper to those questions of self-awareness: “Who are you?” “Who do you ultimately want to be (mentally, spiritually, and physically)? My Self answered,”I just want to go back to when I was unapologetically me”. I was being shaken from within, and for the first time, I was putting myself under microscopic view. From there I made a conscious decision to “get back to the basics”. I needed renewal in all 3 areas of my life, and I wasn’t going to sit and wait for it to come, as I had done so many times before. This time, I was going to take an active role in getting it.
    The day before I left, I asked my best friend, who just bc’d, to do my hair in kinky twists- mind you at that time I had no intention of going natural myself, I just wanted to try something new. On the day of my awakening, I decided that I was going to use the twists to start, what I now know to be, my transition. I was done with perming my hair and forcing my hair to do something that God never intended it to do. And so my hair journey became an outward reflection of the change that was being undertaken throughout my life- my rededication to living for Christ and my commitment to living healthier. It is a piece of the puzzle in making the connection to the essence of me.
    My transition, so far, has been a wonderful 5 months of happiness, frustration, nervousness, and excitement, but most importantly, it’s been full of self-discovery. I know that I’m going against the norm in so many ways- especially in my field, broadcast journalism, where there aren’t many black, women reporters sporting their “natural crown and glory”. But I will continue to press forward and better myself mentally, spiritually, physically, and NAPPILY. Thanks for the opportunity to share this with you and God bless.

  46. Good luck to all the transitioning bellas.

    I did the big chop then moved to L.A. sigh. I had brothers say to my face “why don’t you straighten your hair?”

    I have a short natural. My kinks are tight. Sometimes I do a double strand twist to add some extra “something” to my fro.

    My hair is very healthy and I won’t ever go back to relaxing. I moved overseas and it’s tough finding a salon that knows what to do with natural hair. The search continues.

  47. I love my hair and I’m natural (quite frankly) because I don’t NEED a perm. My hair is beautiful the way it is! Being natural also allows me so much more versatility. I often alternate between curly and straight. With so many new brands coming on the market geared towards natural hair textures, I’ve decided to stick with my favorite- Devachan products.

  48. I am a Transitioning Diva partly out of financial necessity and partly as a test of faith in myself.

    I have never been one that took an interest in my own hair. Been through every style from traditional African styles (so many spools of black thread!, braids, Carefree Curl, Relaxed, even wigs.

    It was very easy for me to just go get a relaxer when my hair got out of hand. Even though I had worn natural styles before, I just did not feel “put together” or sexy unless my hair was knocked out flat. I have even seem my confident mother crumble when she had a bad relaxer and had to start over and she was the QUEEN of afros. A Ghanaian queen. She embraced her natural self again a long time ago though.

    Anyway. I am unemployed now and my husband works full-time. I am 300 miles away from the only stylist I trust and though I could still get it done, I could not justify the extra expense since we are so tight financially.

    I am enjoying my new growth! I switch between flat ironing it (though I always wear it pulled back), and did my first twist style last week. It is gratifying to take the time with my hair. Feel the growth and strength of my hair, to be able to control it and when I cannot control it, I just leave it alone for awhile and try again. Not run for the hills for a relaxer.

    I am more aware of all of the nasties that can be found in most hair products which means I have to pass up a lot of products and invest $$ in better ones.

    I do co-washes, embrace my EVOO and try to keep my hands out of my head though it is hard because it has never felt so good!My husband loves it though every now and then he would mention a relaxer because he knew that was my thing and wanted me to know that the expense was okay. It feels good to say, ‘No honey, I don’t need it. I am getting the hang of my hair now. I want to stick with it.” And MEAN it.

  49. When I decided to transition, I thought the hardest parts would be waiting for my hair to grow and cutting off my (long) straight ends. When I finally did the big cut 14 months later, I soon learned that the hardest part of my transition had only just begun. For the 14 months I had been voraciously perusing natural photos and checking out naturals on the street, so when my hair was cut I had an expectation of what I wanted it to look like. I spent the first two months trying unsuccessfully to replicate the well-defined curls the hairdresser had produced through shingling, and my failure caused me to grow frustrated. Before cutting I had thought I would be able simply to wash my hair and walk out with a head of well-defined curls. That didn’t happen. I began to hate my hair, although I tried not to. Soon I realized that, like when I relaxed, I was still trying to force my hair to do something it couldn’t naturally do. I knew I needed to work with my hair, not against it, but I did not know where to start. I had never cared for natural hair before. I started to accept my hair’s texture, but when I received a lot of jokes, albeit not mean-spirited, about my “afro” I got upset. I hated that my hair was seen as a source of amusement rather than a thing of beauty, and I eventually nixed wash and goes and did everything I could to make my hair look less afro-ish. Eventually I got into a groove, but as my hair grew longer the styles I had gotten used to no longer worked as well. Every few months as my hair grew longer, the characteristics of my hair would change—there would be even more volume, the curls looked more like waves as the hair was weighed down by length, etc. It almost felt like I had to learn to manage my hair all over again every few months. The only thing that did not change was my pursuit for the perfect routine.

    Now it has been a year since I cut, and loving my hair can still be a struggle. I try to avoid comparing my hair to other naturals whose curls seem naturally and perfectly defined. I have to remind myself that my hair does not need to meet an anglicized aesthetic to be beautiful. Dealing with the physical attributes of my hair was not, as I previously thought, the primary part of my transition. Changing my mentality to include my hair in the definition of beautiful has been the biggest transition. I’ve come a long way, but it will probably take me a little while longer to overcome the 22 years of being bombarded with images of non-4a hair and exposed only to black women with straightened hair. It’s a difficult transition, but one I am determined to see through to the end. :-)

  50. Afrobella,

    I am transitioning my hair because i
    am at a stage in which my life is
    transitioning. I just went off to
    college and for over the past two
    years I have been on a constant
    discovery of who and what I am.
    Through this selfdiscovery I have found many
    amazing things about myself from the way I think,dress, and act.

    I decided after my senior graduation
    in May of 2008 that I no longer want to continue
    getting relaxers. I remember everytime
    it was time for a new relaxer my roots would
    come out and show the true texture of my
    hair and I would frantically try to do
    everything possible to conceal them.
    Now I am no longer ashamed or afraid of
    my nappy, kinky, tightly curled afro
    roots. I realized that I truly was
    afraid of something that was part of me
    an aspect that GOD created, and I was
    trying to remove an aspect of my
    essence that was meant to be there.

    Honestly I feel as if I am redifining
    my definition of beauty and I want
    to find 100 % self love, to accept
    myself without exception. and from
    the great words of blackstar, “when
    i look in the mirror, I see the evidence
    of a divine presence” so I have no
    problem anymore with anything other
    than ME.

    Goodluck to those that win
    have a blessed day

    -PeAcE

  51. Afrobella,

    I am transitioning my hair because i
    am at a stage in which my life is
    transitioning. I just went off to
    college and for over the past two
    years I have been on a constant
    discovery of who and what I am.
    Through this selfdiscovery I have found many
    amazing things about myself from the way I think,dress, and act.

    I decided after my senior graduation
    in May of 2008 that I no longer want to continue
    getting relaxers. I remember everytime
    it was time for a new relaxer my roots would
    come out and show the true texture of my
    hair and I would frantically try to do
    everything possible to conceal them.
    Now I am no longer ashamed or afraid of
    my nappy, kinky, tightly curled afro
    roots. I realized that I truly was
    afraid of something that was part of me
    an aspect that GOD created, and I was
    trying to remove an aspect of my
    essence that was meant to be there.

    Honestly I feel as if I am redifining
    my definition of beauty and I want
    to find 100 % self love, to accept
    myself without exception. and from
    the great words of blackstar, “when
    i look in the mirror, I see the evidence
    of a divine presence” so I have no
    problem anymore with anything other
    than ME.

    Goodluck to those that win
    have a blessed day

    -PeAcE

  52. OMG!!!! Am I too late!! I have been searching for products to transition with. I am transitioning because I am tired of the chemicals and the heat and I know that my hair is beautiful because I know that I am beautiful. My daughter (11)and I both are making the transition together. And I am sooo proud of her for not wanting to follow the worlds idea of beauty, she is making her own image. I have been searching the internet for hairstyles and ideas for both of us. I am striving to make her comfortable in her own skin. I want her to embrace her skin color as beautiful, her hair texture as unique and beautiful I just want her to be proud of who she is and who she represents. I am always on a mission to build her self esteem and confidence. So I feel that if she embraces or finds her nitch in a hairstyle she will have that wonderful strong mentality of a lot of sistas on this site. I want her to be a proud, strong black young lady.
    Thanks for listening to me ramble.
    Eboni :-)

  53. I was in love with the ‘creamy crack’ and the straight hair it gave me. I was however not in love with my weak brittle and constantly breaking hair that I got as a result.

  54. Khadijah Cole says:

    Hi Afrobella!!! I am a transitioning Diva because I can no longer sit back and watch what little hair I currently have fall out of my head with a simple light touch. I have been getting a perm for over 10 years. After a decade of abuse with curling irons, crimp irons, flat irons, blow dryers, coloring, weaving, braiding and sewing, my hair has literally given up. What I’m left with is the beginning stages of what appears to be alopecia along my hair line and small bald spots around my temples. I’m only 24 years old and everytime I uncover my hair (I normally wear head wraps) my hair itself looks much older.I’ve been transitioning for the past 3 months and last weekend I decided to do a Big Chop. I now have a tiny afro but I’m learning to love and nurse my hair back to its thick and glorious splendor. I have 4b type hair and I believe the Curlicious line would greatly help me especially since I’m not a huge fan of mixing and making my own hair concoctions. I’m ready to show the world the real me without hats or headwraps and by having the proper hair care products at my fingertips– I can continue my journey of learning, styling and experimenting. Thank you.

  55. Honestly, I just want to see my hair in it’s natural state and work with what I’ve got. I don’t have any horror stories about losing hair or perms breaking it off. I don’t hate perms and weaves like some natural sisters. I’m not on any kind of mission to be “blacker” or assert some kind of dominance over those that choose to perm or weave. I’m just tired of perming and my hair never seems to grow past a certain length with the chemicals.

    What will be interesting is my reaction to my hair when it’s in it’s full, natural state. I have visions of curls that I know don’t match up with what my roots are telling me. Indian in the family don’t mean diddly squat! LOL I’m sure it will be an eye opening experience when I have to confront the years of thinking bone straight is the way to go.

  56. I am a transitioning diva because I woke up one day and realized I’ve never seen my hair completely naked. Never without a perm, pressing comb, blow dryer, flat iron, hot rollers, etc, etc. I have never woken up and just seen MY hair. And I realized that needed to change. I thought it would be nice to see what I truly looked like.

    Thanks,

    Candice

  57. I am a liar.

    June 06: As the barber shaped my twa, I smiled and said I would never again alter myself for another’s approval. I told others I loved myself and my head of burgeoning, nappy curls. I told myself I loved me at my rawest, most original state, but I lied.

    June 08: He was dreadlocked and radical and beautiful to me. However, the ladies of his past were sleek and polished. Not like me. Idiotically, I wanted to be like them, having at once belonged to this man. So, despite cultivating my beautiful hair for two years, despite feeling my most comfortable and beautiful when I was natural, I submitted to the icy-burn of a relaxer. As my hair lay flat and lifeless about my shoulders, I felt a crushing regret. In my quest to be “acceptable”, I had become unacceptable to myself. In that instant, I realized just how far I still had to go to develop my sense of self-awareness.

    November 08: After much meditation and soul-searching, yoga and fasting, I cut away over a foot of hair and just under 6 feet of man and am once again making vows. I promise to never again alter myself for another’s approval. I promise to love my nappy curls. I promise to love myself in my rawest, most original state. Finally, I promise to cultivate myself with as much dedication as I cultivate hair.

  58. Margaret Cooley says:

    As a tweenager my daughter felt the call to straighten her hair. We discussed it but I remember how it felt to be a 12 year old so I supported her choice. Because she’s a swimmer and she has fragile 4B hair not only did the perm not “take” but she ended up with breakage in the back that left her with an inch of hair.

    She weathered that storm with cornrows and puffs and now she’s got a nice head of thick hair. But it’s a struggle to keep it healthy.

    I’m in the daily struggle to encourage and support my teenage Bella as she holds on to her natural 4B hair. She gets discouraged sometimes in the heavily marketed world she lives in but she’s cool.

    I’d love her to have this product so she can see all the options she has with her beautiful God given hair.

    Love you so much for all you give to us!

    marg

  59. First things first: LOVE the blog. I can’t wait until I can officially join the afrobella community.

    My decision to transition from chemically processed to natural hair reflects my transition of what it means to be beautiful, and particularly, what it means to be a beautiful black woman. Ever since I was a child, I felt that my loud, statement making curls were unacceptable. My white mother did her best with my hair, but it was my black aunt that took chemicals to it because it was “nappy.” Ever since I was 7 years old I have been relaxing my hair every two months or so, because I felt my natural hair was unacceptalbe.

    Summer 2008 changed things. Usually for the summer I take it easy on the chemicals, and after a few months I realized how magnificent my curly roots were. This made me question my ideas of beauty. After this I would carefully watch other black women around me, how they wore their hair, if it was natural, in braids, in dreadlocks. I went on a researching rampage, looking at blogs, vlogs, and facebook groups about natural hair. I discovered this wonderful community of black ACCEPTING their hair, and not only accepting it but LOVING it. Iknew there was no way I could ever cover up my natural hair again. I told my mom I was never going to chemically process my hair again and she was supportive, as always. I have always been a confident person and accepting of the way I look, but I realized that I had no idea what REAL self acceptance was because I couldn’t even appreciate the beautiful hair that grows out of my head.

    I’ve been transitioning for five months now and it has been the most difficult process I’ve had to go through, and undoubtedly the most significant transition of my short 21 years of life. I’ve been exploring all natural products, and protective styles. My hair is now braided with extensions for the first time ever while I patiently wait for the new growth. My hair had to wait 15+ years for me to accept it, now I can wait for it to take its time and grow.

    Thanks for listening! Afrobella, you’ve been an inspiration.

  60. Natural Hair Product Researcher says:

    Hi all:
    I just wanted to say that I am moved by your journeys. You should all be so proud of yourselves because I am proud of you for making the choice to be more free and self-accepting.

    Also, I haven’t seen this written anywhere (it may have been), but when I was transitioning the hair growing out from the relaxer and the original new growth was nothing like my natural hair I have now. If I had focused on that chemically addicted hair, I may not have continued the transition. That hair was fighting me every step just like a drug addict who doesn’t want an intervention. With patience and determination I won…so can you!

  61. I’m not transitioning (I’ve been natural for almost a year and a half :0), but I just wanted to comment on my love of the Curls line. When I was new to natural, Curls was one of the first product lines I tried. I’m so glad I did b/c I found my first holy grail product, Curls Whipped Cream. Whipped Cream is the best thing since sliced bread. All of the textures on my head respond well to it. I’m a 3c/4a combo with a little 4b by my ears on each side. It smells good. It’s rich and thick. Moisturizing and defining. Great for the winter months (although I use it year-round), and also great on twists!

  62. I am transitioning because I’m trying to love my hair in its natural God-given state without relying on chemical straightners. I grew up in Nigeria and having natural hair was not a big deal then. In fact, you could find as many people with relaxed hair as with natural hair. But suddenly the trend has shifted. Everyone is rocking a permie.

    I have had permed hair since I was 6 years old and I have always secretly wanted to know what my natural texture felt like. So far, I have discovered that I have 4B-4Z hair. There’s no denying it even though I have 3C envy, I am trying to love and appreciate myself. I need an intervention quickly because its so hard to appreciate my 4Z texture when I am bombarded with loser & softer textures everywhere I turn, it seems. This is why I’m a transitioning diva!

    -Anya has spoken

  63. I am a transitioning diva because I’m tired of doing harm to my hair I’m tired of crying because i see my hair dropping out when i get a bad perm I’m tired of struggling on what should i do with my lifeless now short hair I’m tired of cutting my hair every minute after i get new growth its like it doesn’t make any sense to grow it because i have to cut the extreme spilt ends.My hair use to be long but I went and go listen to people when they said that if i permed my hair it would come out longer…it comes out longer yes but its because the perm strecthes out my hair thats about it it strecthes it out until it looks lifeless and thin my hair reached my waist now its short like i bobbed it.I stopped perming it and started using cantu(it smells really good:)it also made my hair get thicker but I’m still confused on what should I use for my type of hair when its wet it curly and when it drys it looks like nappy dread locks I think it looks cute that way but my mother insist for me to perm my hair I don’t like perms but I do it anyway because I don’t have a choice I’m 15 years old now going to be 16 in january, she just gave me my free will on what I want to do with my hair and now I want to use it wisely I want to go natural.Now adays I see old black woman with extreme thin hair and bald spots to the point that they were wigs and I know that the more I perm my hair and make it thin out the more I have chances wearing a wig at a early age.So thats why I’m a transitioning diva.I cry for a change and now i could speak for myself and say I want to go natural last tuesday people voted for change and they got it Obama said YES WE CAN!!! AND I’M SAYING YES I CAN,YES I CAN GO NATURAL…with YOUR HELP :)

    Naturally convinced,
    Kimi

  64. Not transitioning, but I thought I’d give my two pence (UK nap here :-) I’ve always wondered how hair typing is helpful for anything other than styling. Two people can have the same hair type, but different results with products. How dense one’s hairs are, how thick one’s hair is, how porous the strands are, the climate, the water softness, one’s diet, one’s expectations, styling choices, life style etc all, in my opinion, have more of an influence than ‘hair type’. Just my experience for the transitioners on here (lovely stories by the way) x

  65. I’m a recent graduate who is engaged and working (thank God). I decided to start transitioning because I was figuring out who I am. It was a shock finding out that what I thought I was going to do with work, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do. The person I thought I was in a relationship, I wasn’t. I knew I had to start with myself. It’s a great process to discover what has been covered up for years. It makes me feel like there is so much more to discover in my life, even if it’s a “small” step.

  66. Bellas,

    I posted earlier with the 11 year old daughter and my feeling of being a hypocrite in both of our eyes. I want you all to know that JUST TODAY….. I DID THE BIG CHOP! It was the most frightening and liberating experience. I cut it right in the front center of my head so I couldn’t back out. My hair is now a little less than one inch long and curly in its natural state. I am so excited and happy.

    This was spurred for the reasons above but also because our search for hair product was enlightening. While going to the local beauty supply store, we encountered serveral customers and salespeople with so-called helpful advice.. “OH, you should use a blow dryer and flat iron” or the most helpful, “That glide iron on the infomercial will help make it straight”. This was said by a woman purchasing 5 packs of YAKI to wrap around her slicked back dead straight hair! I was upset and left the store, disturbed by her unwillingness to recognize the beauty in my daughter’s curls.

    In all honesty, I have to admit, we did try the creamy crack once with her 2 years ago. All the sides and back of her hair fell out and we were forced to BIG CHOP her hair. But since my enlightenment,i want to take this journey. I want her to understand that she is beautiful, with her curls, in her natural state.

  67. Hello Ladies,
    I just wanted to let you know about a really fabulous organic hair line that is just amazing for natural hair. I have been wearing my hair natural for over 12 years and I will never go back. Finding the right products have always been difficult. But in the last 5 years many good products that are specific for natural hair are available and so wearing our hair natural has become so much easier.

    SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!!
    I would like to offer 2 product giveaways to the first 25 people to email me and tell me your brief story about how you decided to go natural. I will pick 2 random winners from the emails and send you one of the John Masters Organic Hair Products.

    Send your emails to botanysdesire@gmail.com

  68. Manhattan_Mocha says:

    Hey Bella! I am a transitioning diva simply because I gained the confidence to wear my hair in its natural state. It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure, but I’m learning that my hair never needed the chemicals to begin with. Thank you!

  69. I’m a transitioning because I felt it was time for a change. Every since I was a child I have worn relaxers, and time and time again I have ran into problems with my hair. From breakage (to point of thinning out in the middle) and being over processed, my strands have gotten tired from being pulled through the muck over the years. I look at photos of people with gorgeous locs and other natural styles and I just love the confidence they have in their hair. So I thought, why not?! I’m doing it for the health of my hair, and because my hair is apart of me, and I need to take care of it. I’m so happy I’m going through with the new me; I’m currently wearing protective styles to help me transition. I’m excited about the natural products I will be trying out and how my natural texture will look. I can finally take control now!

  70. Beautifulbrain says:

    I am so proud to be a black woman, especially at this historic moment. I want to transition to my natural glory to fully embrace myself in all my wonderful blackness.

  71. Stephanie says:

    I am transitioning to “natural” hair because it is a natural progression in my life journey. My journey o put less “junk” in my body, on my skin, and in my hair. It was just a “natural” next step to let go of the relaxer and let the natural me shine through.It hasnt always been easy, and it seems like a fad now, I am in it for the long haul.

    Thanks

  72. Ayanna181 says:

    I’m transitioning because its proved to be a healthier alternative for me, plain and simple. The transition from relaxed to natural has been a part of the process I’m going throug to “find myself”. and the freedom that my untreated hair provides me is making the journey an easier one. :)

    I love my hair in this state, and the process of learning how to care for it in it’s new form has been awesome. Being a tall girl, I think my hair( a short fro at the moment) makes me even more fly. :) I’ve told every woman I know, just do it. Cut that mess off. You will love your hair, and it will love you right back.

  73. UnalteredBeauty says:

    I’m not entering the contest but I just had to post my reason for transitioning.

    Well, I was about two years into being natural when a friend of mine placed me in her wedding and suggested that I thermally straighten my hair in order to fit in with the “conservative” look she wanted her bridesmaids to have (*shaking my head and rolling my eyes* as if to say natural isn’t conservative but that’s a whole other topic for another time). I obliged. “No biggie,” I thought. “After all, it’ll revert back to it’s natural state in a week or two.” Boy was I wrong! The heat totally denatured my hair. Ugh! Never again. So now I find myself transitioning yet again. Lesson learned.

    The whole point of this is to say the reason why I transitioned (originally and now) is because I’m tired of trying to look like a woman. I AM A WOMAN! Why should I constantly go through so many alterations in order to achieve the so-called womanly look that’s repeatedly fed to me through images and media. I decided to leave the alterations up to drag-queens. I am a woman, nappy hair and all. Why should I attempt to look like one when I am one in my natural state? Besides, to me, black women look better when there hair isn’t processed and overly shiney. =)

  74. “How can I claim to know and love myself when I don’t even know what my own hair looks like?” is what I asked myself one day earlier this year, the day I decided to transition. From the time I was a little girl, I have struggled with my identity as a woman in this crazy world–Growing up in a mostly white neighborhood and an all-white school, I was constantly bombarded with messages about what was considered beautiful and what wasn’t. I was told that I was ugly because I was too dark, and my features too broad and that long, straight/wavy hair was essential if you ever wanted a job, family, or love life. This was even reinforced by the people in my home life who even went so far as to tell me, “Who in their right mind would want that crazy, nappy mess that you got on your head??”.

    I remember growing up wondering why my hair couldn’t be like those of the little girls on the Just for Me boxes, or why it didn’t blow in the wind like the other girls’ hair. Even with a relaxer I just couldn’t get it the way it was “supposed to be”. I cried because I didn’t have the beautiful blonde waves I saw in magazines. I cried because I would never be beautiful and I didn’t belong.

    I know it’s cliche, but since I gotten into college, I’ve been on a journey of self discovery. I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am, flaws and all. I guess this I guess is the final step for me. The one I’ve been so scared to take. But to me, it’d be much worse to go on not knowing than to take that step, even if I don’t end up liking or keeping it natural. I’m tired of having to force my hair to look a certain way. I’m done with having to stay inside when it rains or is humid. I’m sick of not being able to go out with friends after I wash my hair, and I’m tired of being afraid to swim for fear of someone seeing my naps. I’m going to love my beautiful self COMPLETELY, and not worry about whether I’m “acceptable” or not. I’m done with it all and I can’t wait to see the end result!

  75. as of today, i am 7 days away from my due date. i am scheduled to deliver my very first child – a beautiful baby boy – on 11.17, and am thrilled and excited about the new adventure me & my honey are on.

    prior to getting pregnant, i decided to go natural and have been struggling with maintaining my natural tresses through my pregnancy. your hair texture changes and even thins out while your pregnant and then some time after! no one clued into this so after freaking out a bit and some trial and error, i found that the one product line that has helped me has been Curls. it’s not greasy, it’s not drying, it almost all natural, smells divine and has been keeping my hair looking pretty and touchable for the time I used it until now.

    i probably won’t have time to re-up on my Curls products in the next month or so, so it would be GREAT to have the transitioning kit on tap so that in between breast feeding, playing with the baby, getting my body back and getting things back to “normal,” i won’t have to worry about what my hair looks like! getting a Curls kit in the mail would be heavenly. Thanks!

  76. I am transitioning because natural is how my hair should be. I’m falling in love with my “new” hair. Why should I be ashamed to be who God made me to be. No other race goes through this fear of embracing their natural hair, why should I. I have 2 little girls. I tell them constantly that their hair is beautiful. God’s makes no mistakes & to embrace being different. Society is too unsure of itself to judge & label others. I constantly tell other parents that their daughter/son hair is not difficult, they just need to find a NEW way of styling it & I offer various suggestions on products & styling methods. Some people want the quick & easy, but not EVERYTHING is going to be that way. Being natural is an awesome experience & slowly but surely more black women are coming to realize and embrace that.

  77. Marquita Davis says:

    I am a transitional diva because each day that I wake up with my natural hair I feel a sense of lightness and freedom. In my youth, I was pretty self-conscious about my permed hair,always wearing weaves, braids, or perming my hair incessantly. This damaged my hair pretty badly, so I decided to stop perming my hair May 2007. I won’t say it’s been smooth sailing since then because it hasn’t. It’s been difficult finding products that moisturize and condition my dry hair. Yet I have not regretted going through this process because it has made me reevaluate how I perceive beauty. I realized I was hiding myself behind my hair and letting how my hair was styled dictate the way I felt about myself as an attractive Black woman. I won’t say every Black female should go “natural” because I think that’s a simple answer to a more complex problem Black females face with determining their own self worth. I do think it’s a building block, however, and I support my family and friends, who have decided to start the transition to natural hair.

  78. Hi Bella, i love your website by the way, i stumbled across it about a month ago and have been hooked ever since.
    Right now, i havent relaxed my hair since march and naturally my hair is sooooo thick, it can be quite overwhelming, i almost cried last week at the hairdressers when she was trying to brush my hair, its sooooooo painful. I really dont know what to do anymore, honestly i dont want to relax it cos my hair feels healthier, grows longer when its not relaxed but i really need to do something about the texture, its soooooo frustrating trying to do anything.
    I live in london so we dont have amazing products like carols daughter and miss jessies so until i move i need to sort it out. PLEASE HELP.
    LOTS OF LOVE. XXXX

  79. indigolovely says:

    im not transistioning ive texturized hair that is shaved low on the sides and back, its low on the top but with a long ‘fierce’ (if i do say so myself) bang in the front for months ive been using paul mitchells foaming pomade but just found sebastians ‘whipped cream’-the curls are perfect and the bang is wavy without frizz or overly shiny-love this stuff! try it on your texturized/kinky hair-provides natural and beautiful texture and softness.

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  1. [...] been getting from the most recent giveaways I’ve had — first Ododo, and now the Celebrating with Curls transitioning diva giveaway. I asked you to answer the question, why are you a transitioning diva? [...]